Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Hi, guys.

  • I love painting naked women. (Laughter)

  • Great, thank you.

  • You know, I was thinking, I mean,

  • I was trying to think what to say, very smart,

  • and I was having a real hard time.

  • And I realized that making art is something amazing.

  • It really doesn't matter if you sell it,

  • the idea of making art is actually to make the object.

  • And I truly love making art, whether it is art or not,

  • just the enjoyment of making art is amazing to me.

  • But, there is another part of this that I'm really quite touched by

  • and it is kids.

  • And one of the reasons why, is because I had the experience

  • of working with kids, in an indirect way and then in a very direct way.

  • So, this is a -- I truly believe that

  • if you introduce creativity to kids at an early age,

  • the possibilities for these kids are just incredible.

  • So I decided to do something really crazy and don't ask me why.

  • But this is a little map of where my studio was

  • and it's on 59 and Slauson, in the middle of South Central Los Angeles.

  • And you're wondering, why would I do such a thing?

  • The only thing I can tell you is that I felt like it. (Laughter)

  • So, the second week that I was there

  • I opened the newspaper one day,

  • the article said where crimes happen.

  • And in one side there was a map of the United States

  • and in every state there were little red dots.

  • As you get to Chicago, New York, there were more red dots

  • And when you get to the Los Angeles there was just a lot of red dots.

  • Then in the other side, they took that section of Los Angeles

  • and they amplified it.

  • And right in the middle of all the red dots, said

  • 59 and Slauson. (Laughter)

  • So I was in real trouble, because I didn't realize how dangerous it was.

  • And while I was there, I decided to do something about it.

  • So I decided to teach, to get kids out of the streets,

  • and bring them into my studio and expose them to art.

  • This is just a picture of some of the kids in my studio in South Central.

  • And these kids are ages between 10 to 14 years old.

  • And some of these kids have to take the bus for an hour

  • to get to my studio.

  • And the sad part of it, is that they only live 3 to 5 miles from me,

  • but they couldn't walk, because it was so dangerous.

  • So it was really touching, I mean,

  • some of these kids shouldn't be on the bus alone and they were.

  • And they had an impact on me.

  • Here is the older group, which is 14 to 19, I think.

  • So I watched through every semester

  • the incredible progress with these kids

  • and I was just amazed by it.

  • Because some of these kids have never taken art before.

  • They were so serious and they were just [making] magnificent drawings

  • These drawings were done by kids of 13 to 18 years old.

  • And they can compete with some of the guys here, by the way.

  • (Laughter) This is amazing.

  • And I have to tell you something else, too.

  • These kids, 99% of these kids are doing something related to art, right now.

  • That's pretty amazing.

  • And some of them are here.

  • They are going to School of Art Center and that is to me really incredible.

  • This is their reality outside my studio.

  • These are all the guns collected by LAPD from the streets of Los Angeles.

  • And by the way, this is our city, I remind you.

  • So I was wondering, I had the opportunity

  • when I was there, one day, this group of police guys walked in.

  • And I said, "OK, I'm done, I'm gonna be arrested, what am I doing here?"

  • And it happened to be Charlie Beck, who is the chief of police today.

  • But at the time, he was not the chief of police,

  • I think he was a part of a big station.

  • He came to me. He was, you know, "What are you doing here?"

  • And I said, "This is what I'm doing in."

  • He was so compelled that I was actually teaching art to kids

  • in the middle of the most violent place.

  • He said to me, you know, "One day, you and I are gonna work together."

  • So, the time went by and five years later,

  • I talked him into giving me two tons of guns

  • destroyed from the streets.

  • And this is one of the pictures of some of the guns.

  • And then, they break down the guns and they become this.

  • Last year I happened to lose a very closed friend of mine.

  • And he just fell in love with this woman

  • and he gets a call, six months after that

  • and it's her husband.

  • So he, of course, he didn't know.

  • And he was such a gentleman.

  • He said, "Why don't you come over my house and talk?

  • Because this is kind of news to me."

  • So the guy came over and killed him. Just like that.

  • So I was thinking -- it had such an effect on me,

  • that this is a portrait of my friend, Efren.

  • And I decided to do these portraits with guns,

  • based on our relationship.

  • This is my attempt of making art.

  • I brought one here, so you can see it physically

  • because it's so different when you see it in a photograph,

  • and you see it -- it weighs about 250, 300 pounds

  • and the material is -- it has a certain kind of energy

  • because these are guns, and these come from crime scenes,

  • and I don't know what else to think about that except that

  • it was -- the response was completely unexpected.

  • When I had the opportunity to work with kids

  • and see them up here, how amazing these guys are.

  • They're so pure, I guess, is the word,

  • but, just to encourage them, and to open up the door of creativity for them,

  • I saw this transformation.

  • For me it was just like magic.

  • Because, I'm busy doing my own things

  • and I didn't think that something like that really would have a major effect on me.

  • And I realized that art is a very powerful vehicle

  • for you to express yourself, and it has actually changed me.

  • Now I'm looking at art very differently,

  • even though I've been painting for 25 years

  • I really don't care whether people like my paintings or not,

  • and I don't paint them to sell 'em,

  • I just do what I want.

  • Sometimes I get lucky and I sell a painting or two

  • and sometimes I get an exhibition and it's pretty incredible.

  • But I have to tell you that there was one moment

  • where I was invited to the Pacific Art Foundation.

  • And right in the middle, I asked a question,

  • I said, "What is art?"

  • And, you have to understand, these are the people who are in the arts business everyday,

  • and nobody wanted to say anything.

  • Nobody wanted me to look at them and I kept saying, "What is art?"

  • And there was this silence.

  • And I said, "Well, I'm gonna answer that question for you,

  • because the best answer I've ever heard was from an 8 year old."

  • And this was, of course, a very smart guy,

  • very bright little kid, I was having dinner in my friend's house.

  • And this kid was just incredible and we were talking back and forth.

  • And I asked him, "What is art?"

  • And without even thinking about it, he says,

  • "Art is when you draw the heart of something."

  • And I said, "Oh, wow."

  • I mean, oh my God, this is amazing, you know.

  • It was beautiful.

  • So why should I ask anyone else?

  • This comes right from the heart. It's so simple, right?

  • This makes sense.

  • It doesn't have a political agenda, it doesn't have -- it's just pure.

  • And I thought, "How amazing is this?"

  • Recently, I had the opportunity to work with kids at the Laguna Art Museum.

  • And I happened to walk in for an interview.

  • But instead of the interview, I was interviewed by a hundred kids.

  • It was sort of an accident,

  • I walked in, and one of the teachers recognized me and says,

  • "Would you mind saying a few things to the kids and take a few questions?"

  • And an hour later, I was answering questions

  • to every [kid] between 4 and 10 years old,

  • and it was -- just the most amazing questions.

  • But right in the middle of it, one of the teachers says,

  • "You know, you guys can ask any questions."

  • You know, I was in trouble there and I didn't expect this one.

  • And all of sudden this kid raised his hand. I said, "Yes,"

  • and he says, "Who is God?" (Laughter)

  • All of a sudden everybody wanted to quiet him down, you know.

  • They felt very uncomfortable, because that is a loaded question.

  • He didn't know that. That was beautiful.

  • And I said, "No, no, let me try to answer that."

  • So I said, instead of trying to really answer that question

  • which is sort of difficult to answer for an 8 year old kid --

  • When he says, "Who is God?" I said, "What is art?"

  • And it was just incredible.

  • The kids went, "Oh, OK, that's good."

  • (Laughter)

  • And I got away with that one. (Laughter)

  • But I would like to leave you with the same question:

  • What is art?

  • And I thank you very much for the time of you here.

  • This is amazing. (Applause)

  • Thank you. (Applause)

  • Thank you, guys.

Hi, guys.

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

A2 art amazing studio laughter incredible los angeles

【TEDx】What is Art?: Victor Hugo Zayas at TEDxArtCenterCollegeOfDesign.mov

  • 1966 135
    阿多賓 posted on 2014/04/24
Video vocabulary